Mobile

Mobile ad network InMobi launches in the US

Google and Apple aren’t the only companies with big plans in mobile advertising. InMobi, a startup with high-profile backing that describes itself as “the world’s largest independent mobile ad network,” announced today that it’s launching in the United States.

The Bangalore, India-headquartered company said its network covers 16.7 billion monthly ad impressions in Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. And that already includes 2 billion impressions in the US — even though the official launch is today, InMobi has actually be working with advertisers since January.

Anne Frisbie, InMobi’s vice president and managing director of North America, said that one of the network’s big strengths is its underlying technology — 80 of its 120 employees focus on building the product and technology, not in selling ads or making deals. (The Silicon Valley office, however, will focus on sales and business development.) Not only can InMobi deliver data about which devices, content types, or demographics are getting the best response, but it can automatically improve a campaign to get better results with the audiences that an advertiser wants to reach. Plus, there’s the previously mentioned global reach.

Those advantages, plus the overall growth in mobile ad market, is why Frisbie said there’s still a big opportunity, despite Google finally acquiring mobile advertising startup AdMob or Apple developing its own iAds advertising service.

“I don’t think that the game is over,” Frisbie said. “It’s at an inflection point in this business.”

The company has raised $7.6 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (one of the best-known venture firms around) and Sherpalo Ventures, the investment vehicle of early Google investor Ram Shiram. It was originally called mKhoj but renamed itself last year.

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